I walked through the doors of Cornerstone in November 2015 to try a class before going through the fundamentals. Before walking through the door that first time many thoughts raced through my mind… would I “fit” in, can I do this, etc. My mind was put at ease when I walked in and met Coach Jen for the first time at that 9am class. But before all of that, I first started cycling in 2011 to lose weight and get in shape after stepping on the scale and realizing I was quickly approaching the 300lb mark at 290. When I started at Cornerstone, I weighed in at 250lb and today I am at 225.
I decided to give Crossfit a try after belonging to a typical gym and dreading going there (and thus never went). Cornerstone first appealed to me for the class structure and available times.
My first class I was impressed with the overall coaching, knowledge and welcoming family atmosphere of Cornerstone. I expected to walk in to my first class and see all of these elite competitors. However, there are people of all shapes, sizes and abilities that come to Crossfit and I thought to myself “Wow” I can fit in with this group!
Throughout my first year of Crossfit, I have been fortunate enough to have achieved many things including gaining many friendships. From the small achievements of being able to carry my 11yr old and my 7yr old up the stairs to bed at the same time to hitting PR’s in tons of movements. Early on someone said every day is a PR and that continues with me today. I have recently hit double unders consistently and even did a handstand push up, which I didn’t think would be possible being 6’4” and 225. My fellow classmates and coaches even talked me into participating in the 2016 Crossfit Games Open where I completed each workout at the scaled level. This year I was able to hit every workout in the 2017 Crossfit Games Open at the Rx level.
I have made the 9am class my routine on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and continue to come every week to improve my overall health and well-being to be able to take care of my family for the foreseeable future. Being able to commit to the routine doesn’t allow me to make the excuses of not going plus it is a fun environment and the Coaches are awesome! If you are thinking about Crossfit Cornerstone… Try it! It will be a life changing experience.
The beginning of 2016 was definitely a rough start to a life changing year. I was suffering through a heart wrenching and devastating breakup, was in the process of moving back to my parents’ house while searching for a new job, and every day I struggled with my self-image. Over the course of 3 years, I had gained well over 40 pounds and lost even more of my confidence. I no longer knew the girl on the other side of the mirror staring back at me. She looked sad, lonely, and unhealthy. I did not like her.
I was desperate to make a permanent change.
Soon after moving back to my parents’ house, I started a new job in West Chester. Every day, I would pass a building with a green awning that read CROSSFIT CORNERSTONE. I would shake it off and continue on my way to work, thinking there was no possible way I could even hang with the “Crossfitters.” But, the following day I would pass it again. I began relating it to one of those annoying alarm clocks that would only snooze for a short time and then start screaming again, forcing you to wake up out of a dead sleep. I took it as a sign and made a big leap into the unknown.
On May 24th, 2016 I nervously stepped into the Cornerstone world and it was then that my life changed forever.
Cornerstone has become my sanctuary. Outside of work, it is where I spend majority of my time and is the light at the end of my every day tunnel. Crossfit is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I never feel inferior to the person standing next to me, despite the restrictions I may have. We, including the coaches, are a team and community, supporting each other in our own personal journeys and rooting for the other’s success. I have made many lifelong friends with some of the sincerest and selfless people I’ve ever come in contact with. Without them, I wouldn’t be in the good place of my life that I’m in now.
Here we are 10 months later… So far I have lost 22 pounds and have gained so much more than just muscle. It hasn’t been easy, and I would be lying if I said I’ve never cried during or after a workout… especially if it involved running but it has been the most rewarding and empowering experience I’ve endured thus far. My body continues to surprise me every single day and I truly believe the sky is the limit.
It’s easy to say that Crossfit Cornerstone and the people surrounding it saved me from the darkness I was living in. Today, when I look in the mirror, I see a happier and healthier person with glowing confidence staring back. I love her.
Margaret Nelson: How to Prevent Boredom in Retirees
Cornerstone was recommended to me by a new member because I had said I wanted to lose weight, get physically stronger and meet new friends. I was relatively new to the area and needed to make some changes and get on with my life. I had joined the local YMCA but did feel I was getting the personal attention I needed.
The entire Cornerstone staff is very friendly, knowledgeable and supportive. Megan, my trainer, does a good job of explaining each new step and makes sure everything is done correctly to achieve the most benefit and also prevent injury. She also cultivates a team atmosphere and encourages us to support each other even as we work at different levels.
The atmosphere is structured but fun! We have quite an interesting group in the CrossFit Masters class, based on age, experience and health issues. The final result of each session is a successful, challenging workout with some good laughter and camaraderie. Megan is supportive and does a good job creating a different WOD each session.
CrossFit Cornerstone Masters Class has strengthened my resolve to continue working out and be as strong and healthy as possible. I would encourage anyone interested in improving and maintaining their health; both physical and emotional (because it's all tied together) to come join the fun. And a good chiropractic adjustment helps keep the old body tuned up too!!
Krista Schmidt: CrossFit and Pregnancy
I was 4 months pregnant when I first walked into cornerstone, I was always very active with soccer and kickboxing but impact sports were not an option when I got pregnant. I took up running and it wasn't enough... So I tried Crossfit at cornerstone and have been hooked ever since. I was excited from day 1.
I was treated with such genuine kindness, care, and extra attention for the safety of my pregnancy. Every time I walked in, coach Jen and Seneca always were prepared with scaled movements for each wod if needed with my pregnancy and safety the priority. My favorite times during my membership at cornerstone were the times on a random Saturday night, Jen would open the box, we would have a ladies night and complete some tough wods, with music blasted, and dance moves in between wods. Afterwards we all would go and grab dinner together filled with laughter and optimism. We called it our "night at the bar"...
CFC continues to increase mental and physical toughness. It is extremely empowering to do things I once considered physically impossible.
I was under medical supervision while pregnant and crossfitting. I cross fitted 6 days a week while pregnant and scaled wods accordingly. I felt incredible while staying so active. Being at Crossfit was a huge highlight of each day. I was a police officer during my pregnancy and I knew that Crossfit would help me get back in shape after delivery for my return to work. It was imperative to be fit and healthy so I could return to police work with confidence along with fit back in my uniform/gun belt:)
Crossfit helped with delivery of my daughter Kanella... With an unexpected abnormally short umbilical cord, dr's credited my high level activity for how much my daughter flourished. Dr.'s advised that my high level movements helped to provide movement in my womb for Kanella and her development.
I've battled weight and body image issues for my whole life, and I still do, but I finally feel like I have a handle on these things, and that I am the driving force for a positive change, instead of just waiting to accept myself, one day. I was not an unhappy person, but I never imagined I could feel so differently and positively about myself and my body. I am stronger, more courageous, and more confident than I have ever been in my entire life. Within the course of a year, I've learned to trust myself, be more honest about my abilities and choices, and I'm more comfortable trying new things. I've always considered myself nice, but this place, the people inside it--whether they are coach, experienced athlete, or newcomer, and the words we exchange and the experiences we share, make me want to be even nicer and supportive in all aspects of my life. Ultimately, I've learned to respect the gift that is my body and health by keeping it strong and treating it right.
Crossfit is a family atmosphere. Everyone is so encouraging and likes to have a good time. I love that fact that I don't have to think about or come up with a workout and that I'm training with a group of people. Although the workouts are intense, they're simple enough that anyone could learn. The coaches hold us accountable and encourage our progress. Excellence is a clear value that is integrated throughout Cornerstone.
Being a 45 year old trial lawyer, I have pretty much mastered the ability to speak out of both sides of my mouth. It does not matter which side of an argument I take, I’m pretty darn persuasive. I have tried many cases to jurors, argued multiple times in the appellate courts, and handled lots of claims involving significant issues. Life seemed to be going my way.
Then on hot summer day, my office building had a fire drill. Upon returning to the building, I overheard others exclaim that they would take the stairs to avoid the elevator lines. Good idea! It was only four flights of stairs. Who can’t make it up four flights of stairs? Although I made the climb, I felt like my heart was beating out of my chest and I was gasping for air. “Wow” I thought, four lousy flights of stairs almost defeated me. From that point in time forward, I started noticing other things as well: I was tired all time; I avoided any activity requiring exertion; I was winded simply going up one flight of stairs to the bedroom. I was fat and my body was hurting. I had back and neck pain most days. By the end of the day, I felt stiff and rigid…I felt just like a dead person. My cholesterol levels were extremely high. My diet sucked. I began to wonder how long it would be before I would end up in a hospital cardiac unit.
As luck would have it, I passed the local box every day on the way to work. I wasn’t sure if CrossFit would be my cup of tea, but I was more afraid of not walking into the box then what may be inside. The first day was the worst day. I was asked to do as many sit ups and push-ups as I could in one minute. It was an extremely long minute. I call it the ”CrossFit minute”. I swear the clocks are purposefully slower in the box. Next, I had to row 500 meters. At the end, I almost passed out. Although I met with the trainers following the row, the only thing I remember is feeling sick and dizzy. I could feel my heart throb in my temples. It took over two hours for my body to recover from less than 5 minutes of a workout. It confirmed that I was truly dying. I was scared. I had but two choices, starting living or finish dying.
Over the next months, I kept coming back. I promised myself that I would show up as much as could. I want to live a long healthy life. I did scaled versions of WODs with a personal CrossFit trainer. Other CrossFitters would cheer me on and provide me with encouragement. I had to break up the rigidity in my body. Squatting was nearly impossible. My neck, shoulders, back, hips and legs were stiff. I was weak and I had little flexibility. And I couldn’t even do one pull up. But I wanted to live!
CrossFit motivated me to begin living! My body started to respond. I was getting stronger and more flexible. It made me crave life again! I started doing the WODs and finishing them with everyone cheering me on. I was doing this thing called the paleo diet and my cholesterol dropped into the normal range. The WODs sucked and I usually ended up on the floor panting, but I got stronger. It was affecting every part of my life. The pain in my back and neck disappeared. I was becoming active at home. I was living again!
I have been a CrossFitter now for 18 months. My life has changed drastically. I can run up four flights of stairs with little effort. I can hit over 20 unbroken pull-ups. I can run multiple miles even though I’m slow and it sucks. I can do things named Fran and Grace. I’ve loosened up. I am dead-lifting nearly twice my body weight. I’m Olympic lifting more than many, less than some. My form may not be the greatest and my time may not be the fastest, but I’m living! Although you can still find me on the floor at the end of most WODs, I usually finish before many of the younger athletes. The CrossFit minute hasn’t gotten any slower, I’ve gotten faster.
While I can argue most sides of everything, I can’t argue against the benefits of CrossFit training. It has transformed my life. I am not dying anymore. Instead, I am living a stronger and healthier life.
I am a 44 year old who man who over the past several years had really let life get in the way of my personal well being. Growing up I was very active, participating in several sports. I stayed active playing hockey a few days a week up until a work transfer 7 years ago. It was at that point that I stopped all physical activity, letting my new job consume my life. Two years later my employer closed up shop and I found myself unemployed and overweight.
It was at this point that my family and I decided to move back to Ohio and start over. Then in late 2010 I had a life altering experience. I ended up in the emergency room with tremendous pain. I ended up finding out that I had two blood clots in my right calf that broke loose and traveled to my lungs. I then spent the next six months taking daily blood thinners. It was this experience that woke me up. I have two teenage girls and a wife that need me. Soon after ending the daily meds I began looking for a way to get back in shape. I knew hospital stays and medications were two things I never want to experience again. This is what motivates me still today.
Over the next several months I worked out in my basement, first with kettlebells, then I started lifting, focusing on compound movements. After a while though I knew I needed something more. I had been following Mark Sisson’s website and primal eating plan. One day I clicked on a link for CrossFit, and after a few weeks of looking at everything I could find about CrossFit I called and scheduled my introductory class with the intention of adding twice a week classes to my workout schedule. However, by the time I finished my 3 foundations classes I had decided to sign up for the unlimited plan. It became apparent to me that only coming in twice a week would leave me missing out on the tremendous variety you get daily.
In the beginning my goals were to lose the remaining body fat that I couldn’t seem to shed. The first few days were tough. Despite my daily workouts prior to joining I was really sore, and humbled by the condition of many of the athletes. I remember clearly one morning while getting ready for my 7:00am class looking at the website to see the daily workout. I almost talked myself out of it, seeing thrusters in the workout, and having some real issues with my right elbow. In fact, about a month in I was enduring so much pain in my elbow that I almost packed it in. I didn’t know if I could continue working out every day. I talked with the trainers and they kept telling me that it was something that would get better over time. I wasn’t sure that at 44 I my body could handle Crossfit. I can’t tell you how thankful I am that I didn’t give up. I look forward to my morning class every day.
I also learned the lesson that looking at the website first is a really bad idea. I have never looked at the website before going to class since. I will not allow myself the opportunity to skip class because I don’t like what we’re doing. If I were going to do that I could stay in my basement and continue to do only the things I am best at. I also found out very early on that I love the atmosphere of class. Having played sports for much of my life I quickly realized that the competitiveness gave me a drive to complete the WOD’s first. Put someone in front of me and no matter how tired I am I push till the end to catch them. If they are younger (which is most of the time) it drives me even harder. I love to win, and I haven’t had that competitiveness for a while. CrossFit fills that need. I can honestly say that every person in our morning class has inspired me at one time or another.
Now, seven months later I am in better shape today than I was at 24. I am in class every morning with no thought of whether or not I am working out that day. I can squat and deadlift more today than I did 20 years ago. I still struggle with many of the movements, but I am determined to be able to conquer all of them in 2013. Although I am sore many days, it doesn’t compare to the back pain I had from carrying around 250 pounds everywhere I went. Today I am 8 pounds heavier than when I walked in the door for the first time, but I look and feel so much better, and my strength is going up every month. In fact, yesterday I hit a PR on my deadlift at 415 lbs. That’s a 40 pound increase over my last PR. I can’t believe the results.